Letter from the editors

The theme for this magazine, Flame, was not borne of rage. It was not borne of emotions so turbulent that they could induce seasickness. Rather, Flame came from me feeling completely numb.
Storytelling is my first love. I still remember the rush I felt when I weaved a story out of the fibres of external research and interview transcripts. Realizing that I wanted to write longform journalism as a career was one of the first and probably only true epiphanies I'll ever have. However, I'm used to giving things my all, and throwing my entire being into everything I do. So much so that after four years of doing that, l've forgotten about the consequences that come with being consumed by things you love.
The fallout of being consumed was being left with nothing. I found myself too tired to do even the most mundane tasks, and every emotion that arose within me felt muted because I was too tired to feel anything. The most glaring example of this is probably the constant state of disarray that my bedroom has been in this school year. To me, the theme of this magazine is about love - more specifically, it's about the love I have for telling stories.

To me, the theme of this magazine is about love - more specifically, it's about the love I have for telling stories. For a terrifying few weeks in January, I was so tired that I lost the ability to string words together into sentences. And when I found myself unable to write, I found myself on a frantic search for my lost love, for the hope that writing stories brings. For me, the process of making this magazine documented that search.
Despite it being the primary source of my exhaustion, storytelling is still what keeps me going. I guess I'm just so used to giving things my all that I forget that projects end but I remain. That even though my digital footprint on a newspaper's website lasts forever, I have to take care of my finite, vulnerable self first. I know that, even though my last project for The Varsity was borne of burnout and exhaustion, the soft glow of that love for stories will keep me standing. Thank you for picking up this magazine, and I hope that the stories you read here will remind you of the volatility of the things we love - the life-giving joy it often brings and the destruction it can leave in its wake.

— Alice Boyle, Magazine Editor-in-Chief

I kind of fell into involvement at The Varsity by happenstance. My first year of university was full of lockdowns and missed opportunities. Taking photos for The Varsity was one of the few things I could do, and so I did it. At the end of the year, I found myself frantically writing a speech that I didn't know I had to prepare minutes before I had to speak so I could become next year's photo edi-tor. I spent the first many months of that term diligently completing all of my work behind my computer screen, terrified of everyone around me, who all seemed so much more capable.
The following March, I experienced my first magazine production. Many late nights at our office and cold, windy days photographing things across downtown Toronto made for a stressful but endlessly fun several weeks.
I might have fallen into my first job at The Varsity by happenstance, but I stuck around until now because I fell in love with the process of making a magazine that winter.

Since then, I've tried many things, but nothing has felt as exhausting and endlessly joyful as making magazines.
This is an awful lot of self-reflection for a letter from the editor, but it's because I've realized this is the last project I'll ever put out at The Varsity. This is the last magazine I'll spearhead for a while, if not ever, and well, I guess I'm feeling just a little bit sad about that.
It's very fitting this magazine is called Flame, given it was through the last four magazines that I found something I felt passionate enough about to work tirelessly to complete. To me, Flame means finding the things you love so much that you are willing to be consumed by them. Through the pages that follow I hope you can get a taste for the joy that went into creating them.

— Caroline Bellamy, Creative Director